A jury in Louisiana proved why the state is favorable to asbestos lawsuits.
The court awarded a $36.7 million verdict to a victim of the cancer mesothelioma. The victim filed the lawsuit against Level 3 Holdings, Inc.
Louisiana is considered a state that leans toward favoring victims of asbestos exposure. Many multi-million-dollar verdicts have emerged from courts in this state.
Exposure to asbestos can cause many cancers, including mesothelioma. This disease forms in the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity 20-50 years after asbestos sneaks into the body. Asbestos is inhalable or ingestible when disturbed and fibers are floating weightlessly in the air. When mesothelioma is malignant, it spreads quickly to organs and overwhelms the immune system with fast-growing tumors that multiply into new tumors.
Asbestos can also irritate lung tissue and cause lung cancer. It can also lead to ovarian cancer and a few other deadly diseases.
The jury in Louisiana reached the verdict favoring the victim after a six-day trial. The mesothelioma claim involves a former welder and pipefitter. He worked these jobs during the 1960s and 1970s, when the use of asbestos was rampant in many industrial settings. Welding and pipefitting were two of the most notorious occupations for asbestos exposure and eventual mesothelioma.
The victim claims to have developed mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos from working these jobs.
The jury found nearly two dozen other companies in addition to Level 3 Holdings. This is often the case, as many companies are liable and responsible for any individual’s exposure to asbestos. Some companies were involved in asbestos mining, while others manufactured asbestos. Others sold asbestos and then there were companies that used asbestos and asked workers to handle the mineral directly.
Mesothelioma verdicts like this one are rare. Most companies that were part of asbestos production have filed for bankruptcy. Many filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and “reorganized” assets to continue operations while offloading asbestos legal liabilities to a new LLC. This LLC would go bankrupt, forcing mesothelioma claims toward asbestos trust funds.
Asbestos trust funds have money supplied by the bankrupt company to compensate future claimants. However, mesothelioma compensation for any one asbestos trust fund claim is usually less than any individual verdict.
Sources & Author